Benin is located in West Africa in the tropical zone between the Equator and the Tropic of Cancer (between parallels 6 ° 30 ‘and 12 ° 30’ north latitude and meridians 1 ° and 30 ° 40 ‘of longitude is).
It is limited:
to the north by the Republic of Niger on 277 km with 120 km delimited by the Niger River;
- north-west by Burkina Faso (386 km);
- to the west by Togo (over 651 km),
- to the east by Nigeria (over 809 km);
- and to the south by the Atlantic Ocean (121 km).
From north to south, it covers 700 km; the width varies from 125 km (along the coast) to 325 km (at Tanguiéta-Ségbana latitude).
The country is quite flat. There are five (05) natural regions:
- A coastal band, low and sandy, limited by lagoons (coconut groves);
- A central, hilly and monotonous plain, which rises progressively from 200 to 400 m from south to north around Nikki and then down to the Niger Valley and Kandi Basin. The Kandi basin to the northeast is a plain drained by the Sota River and its tributaries flowing in very wide valleys;
- The Atacora range to the northwest, where is the highest point of the country, Mount Aledjo (658m);
- The vast plain of Gourma at the extreme north-west, between Atacora and the border with Burkina Faso and Togo.
- The humid savanna occupies most of the country. Some islands of primary forest remain in the South and Center. Cultures, marshy areas and the immense palm grove of Lower Benin occupy the rest of the territory.
Benin has two (02) types of climate:
South, an equatorial climate with high humidity. Alternating dry seasons (November to March and mid-July to mid-September) and rainy seasons (April to mid-July and mid-September to October).
In the center and north, a tropical climate. A dry season from November to April and a rainy season from June to September.
The harmattan, hot and dry wind from the Sahara, blows throughout the territory during the dry season.
In Cotonou, the temperatures have a low amplitude: the maximum varies from 28 to 32 ° C and the minimum from 23 to 26 ° C. The annual rainfall in this city is 1245 mm.
The relief of Benin is slightly uneven and includes:
- a coastal, low and sandy region bounded by lagoons;
- a tray of ferruginous clay;
- a silico-clay plateau, dotted with some undergrowth;
- in the north-west, the Atacora massif (800 meters);
- in the north-east, the plains of Niger, silico-clayey very fertile.
HYDROGRAPHY OF BENIN
Several rivers cross the country.
The Benin Niger River Basin which includes the rivers:
- the Mékrou: 480 km;
- the Alibori: 427 km;
- the Sota: 254 km;
- and the Pendjari.
The Volta Basin which includes:
- the Pendjari (420 km);
- the Perma.
The Mono-Couffo basin which includes:
- the Couffo: a 190 km river (170km in Benin), which flows into the Ahémé lagoon, which itself empties into the Atlantic Ocean;
- the Mono: with its 500 km, it serves as a border between Benin and Togo on its lower course and then flows into the Atlantic Ocean.
The Ouémé basin: with its 608 km, the Ouémé flows into the Nokoué Lagoon and uses the channels of Lagos and Cotonou to communicate with the Atlantic Ocean.
There are also several bodies of water in the south, namely:
- Nokoué Lake: 138 km2;
- Lake Ahémé: 78 Km2;
- and the Porto Novo lagoon: 35 km2.
VEGETATION AND WILDLIFE
Three (03) types of vegetation characterize Benin:
- tree savannah in northern Sudan;
- the savannah at the Center with species like Mahogany, Iroko, Samba;
- and the forest in the South and Middle Benin.
As for wildlife, there are two (02) national parks in the North:
- Pendjari Park: 275,000 ha;
- “W” Park: 502,000 ha.
Elephants, buffaloes, hippopotamuses, lions, cheetahs, caimans, antelopes, birds, monkeys, reptiles, leopards, insects, etc. are found here.